Roy Morgan Research has revealed their list of Australia’s most trusted brands, with iconic hardware retailer Bunnings taking the top spot for 2019 from last year’s winner, ALDI. Let’s take a look at what brands Australians deemed the most trustworthy, and consider the implications of consumer distrust for those on the other end of the scale.
WHAT IS NET TRUST SCORE?
Roy Morgan’s report ranks brands based on their Net Trust Score. They generate this score by asking respondents to name the brands that they trust and distrust, totally unprompted, during their yearly survey of a 600,000 strong consumer panel. Overall, the Net Trust Score is designed to offer a (mostly) accurate and quantifiable insight into the public perception of Australia’s biggest brands.
Narrowly trailing Bunnings for the top spot were two supermarket rivals, ALDI and Woolworths. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank was a notable inclusion, rounding out the top ten and outdoing larger rivals to claim the position of Australia’s most trusted bank.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND WORTHY OF CONSUMER TRUST?
To get an idea of what makes a brand trustworthy to consumers, let’s take a look at the ABC – one of Australia’s ten most trusted companies. Consumers identified a lack of bias, quality journalism, and ethical practice as drivers of their trust in the government-run broadcaster. Companies, take note – transparency and integrity are qualities that consumers want from all brands.
Down the other end of the scale, Roy Morgan’s research revealed a widespread distrust in social media. According to the survey, participants equated this to a perceived lack of journalistic standards, fake news, manipulated truth, privacy concerns, bias, and hidden agenda.
Trust is strongly connected to brand loyalty, and consequently the driver of many desirable business outcomes. But are brands doing enough to build consumer trust? According to a 2019 Edelman survey, only 34% of consumers claimed to trust the brands they use – indicating that this could be an area of improvement for your business and many others.
Are you doing enough to win consumer trust? Book in a free strategy session with the experts here.
THE IMPACT OF CONSUMER DISTRUST
While being perceived as trustworthy can provide a major boost to business growth, the effect of consumer distrust is considerably more powerful. Michelle Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, stated:
“Trust is vital to the success of any business, but the key message of the Roy Morgan Net Trust Score survey is that growing distrust can be a disaster, leading to customer churn, loss of market share and in some cases a long slide into oblivion.”
Levine stresses that any indication of consumer distrust can be a major risk to any brand. It represents more than a lack of trust, often spelling something much more sinister. While building consumer trust is on most brands’ strategic agendas (or at least should be), there is still a relative ignorance of the damaging effects of distrust. To avoid the pitfalls of reputational damage and loss of audience engagement, having strategies in place to negate the spread of consumer distrust is essential – yet not widely practised.
SECTORS AT RISK
The survey supports the social perception of corporate brands as inherently untrustworthy – deserved or not. Net Trust Scores were the lowest in banking, media, and mining & petroleum across the board. If you operate in one of these sectors, don’t despair – view this as an opportunity. With a relatively low bar for trustworthiness set, brands that make it a focus point can differentiate themselves from the pack.
Conversely, consumers deemed retail, consumer product, and supermarket brands the most trustworthy – demonstrated by Bunnings, ALDI, and Woolworths topping Roy Morgan’s 2019 list.
BUILDING CONSUMER TRUST
Trust is a key ingredient to a healthy and profitable brand-customer relationship. Brands that want to avoid the corrosive effects of consumer distrust must consider the social drivers of trust – ethics, transparency, authenticity, and integrity – and make them a part of both their company culture and communications.
Understanding how to build consumer trust is essential to a sustainable business model. Book in a complimentary session on building consumer trust with our strategy experts today!